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California gives Waymo the green light to expand robotaxi operations

A self-driving Waymo car drives on a road in Santa Monica on February 21st, 2023.
Photo by Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Waymo is now allowed to operate its self-driving robotaxis on highways in parts of Los Angeles and in the Bay Area following a California regulator’s approval of its expansion (PDF) plans on Friday. This means the company’s cars will now be allowed to drive at up to 65mph on local roads and highways in approved areas. In a statement to The Washington Post, Waymo spokesperson Julia Ilina said the company’s expansion will be “careful and incremental,” and that it has “no immediate plans” to extend service to highways.

Last month, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) put the company’s expansion on hold until June “for further staff review,” following protests from several San Francisco city agencies and other groups. Concerns…

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